The best seats on board Virgin Australia's ATR 72

By John Walton, January 12 2012
The best seats on board Virgin Australia's ATR 72

Travelling on Virgin Australia's ATR 72 turboprop planes on a regional flight? The ATR's unconventional door layout means that even the savviest business traveller can end up crammed into a seat with less legroom, so we've brought you a guide to picking the best seats on the plane.

The plane

Virgin Australia's ATR 72 aircraft are actually flown by Skywest. They run on short hops on regional routes to Canberra, plus around Western Australia and Queensland. They're the replacement for Virgin's small jet Embraer E-170 planes, which are being phased out.

You'll find 68 seats on board the all-economy plane, in a 2-2 configuration. Unusually, the ATR's door is at the rear of the plane, which means that the first person out is in row 17 and the last one out is in row 1.

For more about Virgin Australia's ATR and real-world photos of what you'll find on board, check out our review of the Canberra-Sydney Capital Connect flight.

The best seats on the plane

Row 1: these exit-row seats have heaps of extra legroom, but they're are as far as you can get from the ATR's rear door -- so you'll be last off the plane and last served when the snack trolley comes round. They cost extra to reserve, but nobody really bothers with that since the flights are so short. Just ask for row 1 at the airport.

Row 17: since this is the last row and thus closest to the door, it's a good pick for making a late entry and fast exit.

The worst seats on the plane

Rows 9-11: with only 30 inches of room, compared with 31 elsewhere on the plane, skip these seats.

Rows 12-16: while these seats are closer to the door, you'll get extra noise from the wing-mounted engines outside the windows. Since the ATR's a pretty small plane anyway, pick a seat ahead of row 9 for a quieter ride.

Our thanks to AusBT contributor Chris Neugebauer for the on-the-spot seat suggestions.

Previously in our best seats series

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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Don't forget Sydney-Port Macquarie-Brisbane :)

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